By Robert W. Jenson
Very much has lately been written approximately Jonathan Edwards. so much of it, even if, doesn't make vital Edwards's personal goal to talk fact approximately God and the human scenario; his systematic theological purpose is appeared in basic terms as an ancient phenomenon. during this publication, Robert Jenson offers a special kind of interpretation, asking not just, "Why used to be Edwards great?" but additionally, "Was Edwards right?" As a pupil of the information of Newton and Locke, Jenson argues, Edwards used to be greatly a determine of the Enlightenment; yet not like such a lot different american citizens, he used to be additionally a discerning critic of it, and was once capable of use Enlightenment inspiration in his theology with no yielding to its mechanistic and individualistic traits. by myself between Christian thinkers of the Enlightenment, Edwards conceived an authentically Christian piety and an artistic theology no longer despite Newton and Locke yet by means of advantage of them. Jenson sees Edwards's figuring out as an intensive corrective to what dedication to the Enlightenment caused in American existence, spiritual and another way. might be, Jenson proposes, restoration of Edwards's imaginative and prescient could make the mutual choice of yank tradition and American Christianity extra fruitful than it has but been.
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Additional resources for America's Theologian: A Recommendation of Jonathan Edwards
57 In Edward's interpretation of being, the triune God, as harmony in himself, thinks other true partners of this community, and so there is also the world posited by physics, as the intersubjectivity of the expanded community. It is surely worth considering whether some such interpretation of Newton's world is not that demanded by faith—or even to preserve a natural moral self-interpretation by the human community. Behind all the nihilisms of modernity is the vision of our world as a deaf and dumb apparatus, within which we live but to which our converse is irrelevant.
But two further motifs, one that appears in my initial citations and one that does not but must properly be introduced here, disturb our ready classifications. The first: the God into whose beauty Edwards is led by the beauty of nature is no nature-God or God of natural theology, but from the very first and essentially the triune God of christological faith. The beautiful soul-garden, we may remember, is planted by the Father, animated by the Son, and watered by the Spirit. This is no mere metaphor.
37 Note that it is precisely empirical reality that is thus saved; it is because we suppose that the ideas in mind are caused by things beyond the mind, that those things threaten to become themselves sensibly unreachable. " It is created minds we are now talking about. This sets a problem: When God thinks the universe of bodies, when he thinks resistances and accelerations in coherent series, what "exists in the divine mind," since all these things are now shown to exist in our minds? Edwards answers with his customary willingness to face every consequence.
America's Theologian: A Recommendation of Jonathan Edwards by Robert W. Jenson